I am 33. I have birthed two children. I have been eating a grand amount of cheese.
This morning I was finishing up my shower and my seven year old daughter came into the bathroom.
"You're beautiful" she sighed, looking at me with stars in her eyes.
"Yes, I am!" The wonder in my voice matches the wonder in hers.
"I've got this great body that is so strong, and can do so many things, and God made it really beautiful too. How great is that?"
I see all these women rallying in effort to not pass their body hatred onto their daughters. I see commercials and add campaigns encouraging us to change our negative view of the female gender to one of strength and intelligence.
I hear women say that they pretend to like themselves so that their daughters won't take on the same insecurities they carry throughout life.
How about we just like ourselves?
"I'm the one who stretched your belly out, and made it wrinkly", Sprout says, shyly.
"Yes, you and Finch both took a turn, and that's okay. The skin is kind of stretched out but my body is strong and does a really good job doing what it needs to do."
"Did it hurt your belly to get stretched out? Did it hurt you when I kicked you?"
"My belly is fine. It can digest food just great, and that's its job. The uterus gets stretched out too, but mine is strong and healthy and the uterus' job is to take care of babies. No, it didn't hurt when you kicked, having a baby inside is one of the most exciting, amazing things that ever happened in my whole life."
My daughter sits beside me on the bed, watching me put on makeup. My face is beautiful without makeup, and makeup is fun dress up for grown-ups. That's what I say, and it's true. Today I dusted gold shimmer over her eyelids and let her spray perfume on the back of her neck and mine.
She runs her hand over my beautiful clothes, and admires most everything about me.
We stand side by side at the edge of the pool and dive together, strong, and confident.
I am not being strong for her. I am strong.
I am not being beautiful for her. I am lovely.
I am not clever for her, it's just that I've got this great brain.
Yet the wonder of me becomes a gift for my daughter, and my sons.